THICK AS THIEVES: A New Queen’s Thief Tale

BookendsLynn: Faithful readers know that Megan Whalen Turner’s new book, Thick as Thieves (May 2017), was the advanced readers copy we were most excited to bring home from ALA Midwinter. Well, I greedily inhaled it immediately, and now I will have to wait another excruciatingly long time till the next one.

I don’t mean to tease, but this new Attolian experience was worth every minute of the last excruciating wait. If we gave stars here at Bookends, I would heap them on Turner till she staggered. All the hallmarks of this stellar series are here: vivid sensory descriptions, richly layered, deeply human characters, brilliant plotting, smart humor, thoughtful themes and those delicious plot twists that you know are coming but are still surprised by. Despite the seven (!) years since the last installment, I was instantly back in this world.

It follows KThick as Thieves by Megan Whelan Turneramet,  an important slave: right hand of his master, who is brother to the emperor of Mede. Kamet’s master bungled badly in Attolia and is trying to work his way back into his brother’s favor. Kamet is startled one day when an Attolian approaches him with the whispered offer of escape to Attolia, where freedom waits. Kamet suspects there is something much nastier than freedom awaiting him in Attolia, but his master is poisoned and his own life hangs by a thread. Kamet and the young Attolian soldier set out together, with Kamet planning to shrug off the Attolian at the first opportunity. Readers of the series know that this description barely scrapes the surface of the story and nothing is as it seems. The one thing we can be sure of is that the reading experience will be outstanding!

Cindy:  I become such a fangirl when I try to talk about Megan Whalen Turner and her Queen’s Thief stories. I am delighted each time I get to read a new book in this world. Maggie Reagan’s starred Booklist review provides plenty of details and analysis to go with Lynn’s, so I will focus on some other news about the new cover and series’ reissue. When we last wrote about this series in our post for A Conspiracy of Kings, we discussed the success of the recent cover art redesign. Now, for the 20th anniversary of the publication of Thief, the books received another cover redesign. The new one is on the left. What do you think?

Thief collage

The publisher discusses the new covers here and announces some additional features in these new releases. Fans will be happy to learn that the new editions will have a map and a cast list of characters. Each volume also contains either a new short story featuring Gen (be still my heart) or other additional content from Turner. For my middle school audience, I remain a fan of the 2005 reissue covers, but I’ll also be buying these new editions for the extra content. Their regal, sophisticated look gives them even greater crossover appeal to an adult market. And now begins that excruciatingly long wait for another tale, even though this one hasn’t even officially published yet. It may be time to reread the whole series again.

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About the Author:

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan are Booklist reviewers and middle-school librarians who have chaired both ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults and the Michael L. Printz Award for YA Literature committees. Follow Bookends on Twitter at @BookendsBlog. You can also find Cindy at @cdobrez and Lynn at @482april.

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